In Brief: Toyota Alphard – Luxury on wheels

Eric/Mar 19, 2020 12:55 AM

Toyota Vellfire pictured; it's essentially the same as the Alphard

(2020 Toyota Alphard Price and Specs | Gallery)

(2020 Toyota Vellfire Price and Specs | Gallery)

The Toyota Alphard and Vellfire twins are hugely popular in Malaysia. Say what you want about its looks, but few other cars can match the Alphard/Vellfire's road presence and it's a favourite among well-heeled customers.

Both the Alphard and Vellfire first received their mid-life update back in 2018, in which the Alphard received a new 3.5-litre V6 engine and equally-new 8-speed automatic.

Subsequently, both models received another update in February, which added the Toyota Safety Sense ADAS suite, as well as new head units with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.

How much is the Toyota Alphard?

In Malaysia, the Toyota Vellfire is priced from RM 382,300, cheaper than the Alphard, which is priced from RM 464,000. 

Both the Alphard and Vellfire now have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support

Its RM 464,000 sticker price may sound like a lot (recon units are priced around RM 400,000), but keep in mind that UMWT has done a lot of work getting the Alphard (and Vellfire) to work well in our local conditions.

Full Display Monitor (FDM) is a blessing

Unlike reconditioned models and their dodgy history, official imported Alphard and Vellfire units receive a retuned engine ECU, English menus for vehicle settings, head units that work with Malaysian FM radio channels (recond models have Japanese language conrtols and infotainment), wider side mirrors, and crucially, a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty.

What are the pros and cons of the Toyota Alphard?

The Toyota Alphard is well-known for its spacious and luxurious interior.

Think of the MPVs as sitting on a business-class flight, albeit tailored for the roads.

Captain seats in the Toyota Vellfire

This is achieved by its second-row captain seats with power recline and Ottoman, which is as luxurious as it gets.

Couple that with a well-appointed interior with rear air-conditioning system, rear seat entertainment, stowaway table, and ambient lighting, the Alphard is second-to-none.

Sit back and relax

With that said, the Alphard can’t quite match a low-slung sedan for ride comfort or handling – its tall ride height and soft suspension accentuates the Alphard’s body roll and nose diving.

Third-row comfort levels aren't that great

As such, when taking corners (not even at high speeds, mind you) the Alphard’s body roll is considerably more than a sedan, which translates into less-than-ideal comfort levels for occupants.

Bear in mind that the third-row seats are positioned right above the rear axle, making the third-row seats uncomfortable for those sitting behind. 

However, thanks to its low ride height, tall seating position, and power-sliding doors, ingress and egress is much easier than a sedan.